Spring Has Sprung: Horton Creek Trail, Basil Turkey Meatballs and West Fork Trail

Apple Blossom Background

It’s been a busy few weeks as we’ve tried to take in the beautiful Arizona spring weather. We’ve were super lucky that my sister got to celebrate Scott’s birthday with us.  We wanted to pack in as much Phoenix dining and Arizona outdoors as we could into a quick weekend.

Horton Creek Trail Forest

I wanted to get my legs and mind warmed up for my sister’s visit so we hiked along Horton Creek near Payson for the first time.  A warm spring day with the smell of wildflowers in the air and a beautiful creek, it was quite the pretty hike. The kind of trail that natives aren’t surprised at but outsiders are shocked that Arizona doesn’t solely consist of cactus and tumble weeds.

Horton Creek Trail Sign

Horton Wildflower

Creek Horton TrailThe trail was lovely and surprising.  At times you are right beside the creek and other times you gain some elevation and bright sunshine.  I feel so out of shape right now-this trail really kicked my butt.  About half way through I started dreaming about the turkey meatball soup that I had planned as a post hike meal.

Wild Jasmine

Horton Creek Waterfall

Horton Log Waterfall

Coming home to the newest Dorie recipe for Ginger Basil Turkey Meatball Soup was absolutely perfect.  When I was making it I really wasn’t so sure; the mixture of asian an italian flavors seemed a little odd.  It turned out that this fusion soup was totally delicious.  We had lots of meatballs leftover and used them to make meatball marinara subs.  The flavors were so perfect I’m tempted to try and add some ginger to my sauce in the future.

Turkey Meatball Soup

Turkey Meatball Soup Closeup

When my sister got here the next weekend I felt ready for West Fork Trail.  This is one of the most traveled trails in Arizona for good reason: it’s spectacularly beautiful and relatively easy.  Scott and I had experienced the amazing color riot that you get along the trail in fall but I had heard that the spring trail was also quite beautiful. The trail starts in an old apple orchard and we were lucky enough to catch the spring apple blossoms.

Carrie under the apple treeWild IrisWildflowers and Brick Wall

The trail crosses the creek over a dozen times.  We found the water level quite dropped from the fall which made for a much easier trail.  Flowers were blooming and the weather was perfect and gorgeous.

Carrie and Christie Bridge

Cloudy Creek West ForkReflecting Creek West Fork SpringRed Rocks West Fork SpringTiny C and CCanyon Spring West ForkBeautiful Leaves Spring West Fork

I feel so fortunate that Scott captured so many beautiful pictures of Carrie my sister.  When you live in different states you don’t get to see your family as much as you would like and I love that I have these gorgeous pictures to remind me of this weekend.

Carrie and Oliie Old Hotel

Carrie Under Wild BlossomsCarrie ProfileTail End Spring West Fork

The trail is so beautiful I could post about a hundred more pictures.  Really nothing is quite like experiencing it for yourself.  It’s even better when you get to share it with your loved ones on a perfect spring day.

-Christie

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